Hollyoaks star shares personal journey for Disability Pride Month

Hollyoaks star Ellie Henry has marked Disability Pride Month on her social media.

The Freya Calder star, who uses a wheelchair, took to Instagram to share a video of herself at Pride and at the gym, reflecting on her journey.

"Time to stop thinking about what came before," she wrote in the caption, opening up on "starting to find [herself] again".

freya calder in hollyoaks
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"July is Disability Pride Month which is always a notion I've slightly struggled with because I've never really been proud to be disabled before," Ellie wrote.

"I grew up sporty, daring and never stopped moving, so when disability forced me to live a life sitting down I couldn't find a single positive. It's only now, 8+ years later, that I've started to find myself again."

The soap star explained that sit skiing has changed her perspective, describing the sport as "therapy".

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"Sit skiing has been a massive deal for me; finding adrenaline and adventure in a way I didn't think I'd be able to has really unlocked something in my mind," she wrote. "Throwing myself down a slope and hoping for the best is my new form of therapy."

Ellie gave a shoutout to her friends "who take the time to figure out how to include me despite the inaccessible world we live in".

"We now laugh at situations which would've previously weighed me down. We celebrate piggybacking through inaccessible spaces, getting carried in and out of bars and laugh at all the times I fall over/out of my chair. Laughter really is the best medicine," she said.

zoe anderson, beau ramsey, freya calder and hunter mcqueen in hollyoaks
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Ellie has previously got candid about her experience with ableism, responding to fans that she's had to "advocate" for herself in most spaces.

"Asking for basic needs such as ramps, extra time to prepare or not working in certain conditions can be made to feel like you're asking for the earth. I promise you're not!" she said.

"I have had to surround myself with people who remind me I'm asking for reasonable adjustments and they should be provided for me. Keep asking for what you need. Always."

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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